Saturday, January 31, 2015

Entry 263: Avengers #44 and New Avengers #33 Covers

This is my connecting cover image for Avengers #44 and New Avengers #33.

Jonathan Hickman is bringing both these series to an end in these issues and I was asked back to do the final covers. Having started Hickman's Avengers off with my connecting covers for issues 1,2,&3, and having drawn covers for both these series' I found the idea of returning for the last covers to be an appealing idea. Of course, I told them that we had to get Justin Ponsor back for the colors, to really give it that bookend quality.

At first the direction for this cover was really vague. All I knew was that it was these two dudes fighting with the worlds colliding and Captain Universe in the background.

Here's my first take at the idea. This initial image was not right and I knew it from the beginning, but sometimes you have to get the wrong idea out to see what's wrong with it.

I think there is something kind of interesting about this image, but really, I needed something more intense and brutal.

Tom Brevoort suggested having them fighting on both covers at two different moments. One would be early in the fight and one later in the fight. My buddy Ben Bates suggested putting the second image closer. I'm capable of recognizing good ideas when I hear them so I sketched this as a rough idea.

This sketch got approved, but it wasn't totally there for me so I I tweaked it.

And here is the finalized sketch.

This rendered sketch is what I send to a colorist. It's so that both me and the colorist can see how all the lighting and values should look. 

After this I inked it up. 

I did all the space digitally and included it on a separate layer.

And finally, Justin Ponsor colored it up.

I think that makes 21 covers for Avengers and New Avengers combined.

Blogged and blogged


  1. These are super-good, Dustin. It's not often we get to see such a crazed Captain America.
    That Justin Ponsor sure colors the heck out of these doesn't he? Should really pop on the racks.

    1. Ha! Yes "crazed Captain America" is right. This was part of the fun for me. Super heroes don't look like they are loosing their shit enough. I always liked how Juan Gimenez would draw his characters in The Metabarons. Even the pretty women would loos it. Their eyes would bug out and they'd look crazy. He wasn't afraid of depicting the characters in unflattering ways.
      This Cap is supposed to be an old dude. I think Justin didn't know that and ended up not coloring his hair white, and he also could have made the wrinkles deeper. He might actually be doing another version of this where Cap looks older.
      Obviously, I'm a big fan of Justin's. I always feel like his colors look like candy, which I think is kind of perfect for this kind of stuff. I know a lot of people feel that flat colors or simple colors are the only way to do it. But that kind of thinking really just saves a person from actually having to evaluate what they are seeing. I think Justin is real good.

  2. Sorry for talking about other subject here, but when is SHIELD Vol 2 going to end? The wait is killing me ... we need issue #5 and #6! (yes we, because I know I'm not the only one suffering for the wait, I can feel it).
    Can you give us an update about that subject? pretty please?

    1. Don't feel bad about asking.
      I don't know when it's coming out. Nobody has said anything to me about it. Last I heard from Sonia, the colorist, she was having to squeeze it in between a couple of her on-going jobs. I'm going to email her again tonight to see how it's going. Hopefully I'll have some news soon.
      In the mean time, you should find the editor, Nick Lowe, on line. He's on twitter and tumblr. Bother him about it. He's the guy that will ultimately be making the decision, I think.

    2. Thank you so much for answering :)
      I will ask Nick Lowe!

  3. Did Captain America turn into a badguy? Or did Iron Man? It's hard to tell which one is the villain but someone must be bad otherwise they wouldn't try to kill each other.

    1. Oh, Ben, my sweet little Ben. You really don't understand the first thing about Superheroes do you? The truth is that they are both bad guys. All superheroes are. Sure they think that they are good and that the world is better off because of them, but that's just their self righteous arrogance. In actuality they are all giant jerks. They fight each other all the time, ALL THE TIME. That is, when they're not beating up poor people.
      Now go to sleep, Ben, and have sweet dreams of heroes curb stomping people breaking societies laws and trying to curb stomp each other.